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Home > Settings > Archives > March 2022 > Women in Geospatial Series: Mariya Prempeh

Women in Geospatial Series: Mariya Prempeh

In this Women in Geospatial Series, we spoke to Mariya Prempeh, the General Manager of Leica Geosystems Pte Ltd about leadership roles in the geospatial sector and geospatial technologies.
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Mariya Prempeh works as General Manager of Leica Geosystems Pte Ltd

Did you face any challenges entering the geospatial field? If so, can you please provide a brief summary?
The beauty of the geospatial industry is that it brings together people from all walks of life. Before joining Leica Geosystems, I had already been based in Singapore for over six years, so I was familiar with the business landscape here. At the same time, what helped me adjust fast was the welcoming team of Leica Geosystems. With over 50-years of presence in Singapore, Leica Geosystems has a strong team covering various global functions in Singapore, who have embraced me into the team and helped me onboard.

Please share about what you do at Leica Geosystems part of Hexagon and what is one of your proudest moments. 
Leica Geosystems has a strong foot in the surveying industry and has been developing its presence in construction and engineering fields over the past years. I encourage my team to work closely with the Singapore government to drive Integrated Digital Delivery and SmartNation initiatives jointly. For instance, we have been shortlisted by the PUB Global Innovation Challenge (Mapping of Underground Utilities) to pilot our underground utility mapping solution and work with other government authorities to speed up the adoption of advanced technologies.

My biggest pride and joy is bringing together a truly diverse team: among 5 five of us, we speak 11 different languages, 4 four nationalities and have different religions and beliefs, yet we are united in our passion for geospatial technologies.

What advice would you give to women who wish to excel in leadership positions in the geospatial sector? 
Go for it! It is a fascinating and dynamic sector to be in. It's hard to imagine our lives without the influence of geospatial technologies. It enables anything from delivery services, navigation maps and helps with urban and territorial development to disaster recovery and the management of natural resources. Looking at my team, I can say that this sector does not discriminate by gender or other factors. Anyone with a passion can be successful in it.

What excites you about geospatial innovation?
In a nutshell, geospatial is about having a measurable location of pretty much everything and anything. There is no limit really on how it can be applied. For instance, Leica offers solutions from large-scale outdoor scans to precise point positioning, which are deployed in various industries. On a macro level, our mobile mapping solutions are designed for creating city-scale digital twin models, widely used for cadastral and urban planning purposes. 

With the help of geospatial technologies, we can outfit earthmoving equipment (e.g. excavators, rollers, dozers, graders) with our precise sensors to allow for intelligent operation without manual measurements. Geospatial technologies are also widely deployed in conjunction with GPR (ground penetrating radar), helping utility companies map the services' locations underground.

Other exciting applications in media and production space are about making a replica of any famous location. For example, Lucasfilm, an American film and television production company, subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, which has recently announced its plans to open their first international studio in Singapore – has previously used Leica imaging laser scanner to capture environments for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park.

Government initiatives also make it an appealing sector to be in. For instance, GeoWorks of SLA is working on OneMap3D, which affects us in one way or another, without realizing realising it - all thanks to geospatial technologies. IMDA and other government entities are supporting Singapore companies, which are at the forefront of adopting geospatial technologies to improve productivity and reduce manpower – topics so relevant in the COVID-era that we are all experiencing. 

We are even taking it a step forward by launching BLK2FLY – a flying laser scanner and BLK ARC – a scanner mounted on a SPOT robot to further increase the autonomy and productivity of the solutions, leading to less manpower deployment and faster deployment data acquisition. 

How do you see geospatial technologies improve our daily lives? 
We usually do not realize realise the vast impact geospatial technologies have on our lives: from mobile phone maps to delivery and rideshare services.

Just look at how geospatial technology leapt for our daily commutes. I still remember vividly the hassle of route planning using paper maps. When I moved to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, for the first time, about 15 years ago, I ended up driving with a map spread out on my steering wheel until I got to know the city well enough. When was the last time you saw someone using a paper map? Fast-forward 15 years from now, when my kids will be ready to drive, I am sure autonomous vehicles will become a commodity, all thanks to the advancement of geospatial technologies.